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we will be back tomorrow at 7:00 a.m. eastern time. thank you for watching. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] . >> president obama will be leaving for baltimore shortly. he is going to get rid of -- witness a small business there and announce a tax credit. it would go to companies that would hire new workers. he then visited congressional republicans. he will make some comments and we will have live coverage of that about 12:10 eastern.
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tony blair told -- said that saddam hussein did not become a bigger threat after september 11. prime minister blair is being questioned by allegations that the government exaggerated intelligence reports to justify the to sell in three -- 2003 invasion of iraq. the chairman of the joint chiefs talks today about leadership and strategy. he is participating in a discussion with john warner and chief of naval admirations -- operations. we will have it live at 3:00. this weekend, on c-span2 book tv, how the growth of the muslim middle-class and the middle east could and religious extremism. the political cartoons of dr. seuss published during the war
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years. also, presidential foreign- policy going back to the nixon administration. find the entire weekend schedule >> in the nation's capital, listen to c-span radio. in washington, at 90.1 fm. it is also a free application for your iphone. c-span radio, covering washington like no other. yesterday, in london, representatives from other -- other countries met to set goals for the future of afghanistan. president karzai told a conference that his company -- country was moving slowly toward national security. of the next 45 minutes, british and afghan leaders and the un secretary general outline their goals.
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general mcchrystal has the international forces serving with such distinction in afghanistan and soon to be over 100,000 strong. foreign ministers, distinguished guests representing over 70 nations and international organizations, including every single member of the 43 nation strong international security assistance force. representing also afghanistan's key regional and muslim partners with whom we are pleased to work and his involvement in
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this worldwide coalition to support peace and stability in this crucial region are especially welcome to. this is a decisive time for the international cooperation that is helping the afghan people secure and govern their own country. for this conference marked the beginning of the transition process, of bring the necessary conditions under which we can begin district by district, a provident -- province by province, the transferring of responsibility for security from international forces to afghan forces and afghan people. we all know that 2009 was a difficult year in afghanistan. there will be more tough times ahead. all of our forces have made great sacrifices, hundreds of lives have been a lost. thousands of casualties have been sustained.
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in the last year, britain alone has suffered over 100 fatalities. each of the countries represented here today recognizes that this mission is of vital for our national securities. it is vital to the stability of this crucial region. it is vital to the security of our world. we have a clear strategy. we set out last autumn. we are making progress. a military search is turning the tide against the taliban-led insurgency. it is at the same time delivering the capacity of the afghan forces that are fighting alongside of us. a civilian surge is insuring that its military forces clear areas of taliban, our
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stabilization teams go in immediately to work with local leaders to hold the ground that has been gained. britain is proud that we lead the largest military joint civilian team in afghanistan. during 2009, we doubled the number of british experts. secretary clinton has announced that america is now trickling the numbers of american civilians deployed. i urge other countries to follow this lead. to help deliver this coordinated military and civilian search across the many countries involved, i welcome the appointments that are being made. the new senior nato civilian representative, the u.n. secretary general representative in afghanistan soon to be followed by a new eu representative, also. i have described our shared strategy as one as afghan
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ization. as they become stronger, we can hand over to them the responsibility of tackling terrorism and extremism and our forces can start to come home. it will take time, but i believe that the conditions set out in the plan we will sign up today will be back sooner than many expect and as a result, the process of handling district by district will start later this year. this will not signal an end to our support for afghanistan. i know none of this -- none of us wants to repeat the mistakes of the past. it will mark the beginning of a new phase in the decisive step toward what the afghans taking control their own security. last -- and britain announced an increase in british forces to
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9500 plus special forces. annapolis to that is part to of the approach -- america takes the lead and all countries bearing a share of the burden. 38 countries have already offered manpower. i've warmly welcome the commitment made in this last day by chancellor merkel, increasing the german troop numbers to 5000. an increase of over 50%. now 9000 additional nato troops have been committed to the campaign since president obama announced the american increase with more being announced this week. in return for this additional commitment, we as the international committee, must agree with president karzai. we must pledge the necessary training support to do so.
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we will agree today that the afghan national army will # 134,000 by october 2010 and 171,600 by october 2011. we will commit to support an increase support plan with afghan national police -- 109,000 by this year and 134,000 by october 2011. this will bring afghan national security forces to 300,000 in total, up presents a far bigger than our coalition forces -- a presence far bigger than our coalition forces. we're doubling the number of military men train people for the afghan police starting in april of this year. afghan security forces will be 300,000. international forces to rise to 135,000.
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but the balance will continue to shift toward afghan security control. as president obama made clear last month, by the middle of next year, we have to turn the tide in the fight against the insurgency and also in our work to support the afghan government in winning the trust of the people. today, we affirm as an international community that the increase their military efforts must be matched with governance and economic development, a political and civilian search to match and complement the current military search. we have agreed today to back up the security transitions we wish to achieve province by province with an agreement for a coordinated civilian plan to back that up. president karzai, we will stand united with you in your work of the five areas you raised in
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your inaugural address. fighting corruption, securing strong governance, economic development, supporting an afghan-led peace and reintegration program, and strengthening the partnership with afghans neighbors. i commend the progress that you have made since your inauguration speech. today, we welcome your decision to appoint an independent high office of oversight with investigative power and international monetary -- monitoring group of experts that will provide regular reports to you and the afghan parliament, and the afghan people and the international community. i know that the last -- i know that local governments is also critical and we have agreed to provide additional support should trim the 12,007 national civil servants in court administrative functions. we will do so by the end of
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2011. i am pleased to announce that in partnership with the asia foundation and the afghan independent director for local governments, american, british, canadian, a belgian governments are announcing a governor's fund. in return for the action that you have announced on corruption and better governance, the international community will not just maintain its aid, but also aimed to increase the share in which is delivered through your government and budget and we will do so to 50% in the next two years. under the heavily indebted core countries initiative, the world bank, the imf, and afghans major creditors have agreed to provide up to one. -- $1.6 billion in debt relief from major creditors taking total debt relief to $11
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billion. if afghanistan is to enjoy greater stability and prosperity, farmers and working people must also have a greater stake in their economic future. britain is contributing -- into being over $72 million to support agriculture to encourage growth. i welcome the chancellor marcus decision to double germany's development aid to -- chancellor merkel. international aid to afghanistan to complete the purposes that we have agreed on was in the last financial year $6.3 billion, making up 45% of afghan national income. international and afghan forces are weakening the insurgency, applying pressure to its leadership. a familiar elements for a successful conflict resolution
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is to combine the strategy of strengthening our security forces and strengthening the security forces of the afghan people with the offer of a way forward for those prepared to renounce violence, abandon past activities, and choose to join the political process. let us welcome the plants from president karzai and the government of afghanistan for an afghan-led peace and reintegration program that offers insurgents who are prepared to renounce violence a way back into mainstream life on the condition that they continue to renounce violence, a drop any ties with al qaeda, and all other terrorist group, respect the constitution and pursue their political goals peacefully. as an international community responding to president karzai and his leadership, we are establishing an international trust fund to finance this afghan-led peace and reintegration program. to provide an economic
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alternative to those who have none. for those insurgent who refuse to accept the conditions for reintegration, we have no choice but to pursue them militarily. let me conclude, as we look forward to the next conference that will be held in a couple -- kabul, let us pay tribute to all of those who have served in afghanistan through these troubled times. the civilian staff who have been doing critical work with international agencies and non- governmental organizations on behalf of the people of afghanistan. let us remember those who gave their lives, making the ultimate sacrifice for the security and stability of afghanistan and for the protection of the security of the people in all our countries. all around the world, thousands of men and women of all
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religions have been murdered by al qaeda attacks. today our message must be clear, it is the same message that we sent to all of those who pursue violence and extremist ideology is that pervert the true islamic faith. we will defeat you and we will defeat you not just on the battlefield, but in the hearts and minds of the peoples of this world and people in afghanistan. we will defeat you in any and every country where you seek refuge. today, this conference shows that the people of the world speak as one. united and resolute, we will win the fight against global terrorism. united in supporting the government of afghanistan to deliver peace and security for its people and united in their determination and resolve to do what is right to support all of
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those determined to build a more secure, more prosperous life, free of terrorism. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much. i am delighted to introduce the secretary-general to give his address. >> i am honored to address this conference alongside president karzai and prime minister gordon brown. we are aware of the great commitments of the united kingdom to afghanistan.
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i wish to reiterate my appreciation for this timely event. we are here to reaffirm and build the international community's long-term commitment to assist the government and people of afghanistan. i thank president karzai. i applaud afghanistan's commitment toward a partnership with the international community. this is an extremely challenging time for afghanistan and for international engagement in the quest for peace, security, and development in the country. today's events is a chance to look forward, to explore how to build on our achievements so far. it is an opportunity to redefine the relationship between afghanistan and the international community and its partners, a relationship based
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on strengthening afghan leadership and an increased support role for the international community. a relationship where international efforts aligned with afghan government priorities. we face a long and complex process of recovery and institution-building. we must encompass the full range -- it must strengthen the government's and meet the facing needs of the afghan people -- governance and meet the facing needs of the afghan people. it must respect the human rights of the afghan people. it must force environment conducive to justice and accountability, an environment where corruption cannot thrive. we must see corruption for what
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it is, an assault on the integrity of the state and people's well-being. afghans have suffered for far too long. if we are to achieve a stable and secure afghanistan, these ills must be remedied, starting with improving the electorial process. let me turn now to how international community can respond to afghans needs. with military resources been deployed in afghanistan, they are necessary for security. in particular, to train the afghanistan's security forces so that they can take on this essential responsibility. the single biggest impediment to
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progress remains in security. no one is exempt from violence. last year, three times as many civilian deaths were attributed to anti-government as to those caused by pro-government forces. we must assess that all of our efforts, without exception, must protect and not harm the civilian population. i urge all the parties to uphold international human rights and humanitarian a loss. we must recognize that while security is a major element in the transition strategy, we must -- it must not be the main and only focus. we need a coherent political strategy.
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not as an add on to the military strategy, but part of a balanced military and civilian approach. in his speech last november, president karzai alabama client the government's priority for reform. they reflect the key issues facing afghan society today. security, the governance, corruption, a nation of unity, and the need to expand corp. to stop drug trafficking. to a new afghan government in pursuing these objectives should be measurable and accountable to the afghan people. the afghan people also need to hear loud and clear the
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international community's long- term commitments to the afghan government reform agenda. are reshaped relationships must be built on a greater and steady transport responsibilities and operating from international stakeholders to afghan institutions. afghan ownership and nation capacity needs to stand at the center of our activities, our objectives. to accomplish this, the afghan government and people must take the lead in determining how to translate commitment into reality. the joint coordination and monetary board took encouraging steps in this direction at its meeting last week in kabul. to discuss economic development, age,
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reintegration, and expanding the afghan security forces. these and other steps can lead the way for and contribute to the success of the international events in kabul in the spring. ladies and gentlemen, despite the increasingly complex security environment, the united nations -- together with other partners, we remain committed for as long as necessary to the afghan people pursuit of peace and prosperity. the past year has increased the need to reinforce this coordination and strengthen the afghan and actors. let me stress, the coordination
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is a shared responsibility. we must be ready to collaborate, to meet the principal requirements of building sustainable institutions. their efforts must be aligned and guided by afghan priorities. these are no easy solutions with quick fixes. yet, other resources and being demonstrated here at this conference are a good sign. the united nations, we will continue to stand with the afghan people in building peace. to all of the staff on the ground, let me extend my profound gratitude and regard. last year, we lost eight staff to terrorist acts and -- none of my brave colleagues have wavered
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in their commitment in supporting the afghan people. as we had to 2010, i would like to take this opportunity to confirm that i am appointing a special representative to afghanistan an. i want to express my sincere appreciation. he has provided outstanding leadership over the past two years. it was a particularly critical period. none of my special representatives has an easy job. he came to afghanistan and a crucial moment. he helped to shape the international agenda and afghanistan. he is a major voice of the united nations and is indispensable. we are all extremely indebted to
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you. he will take up his duties on march 1. he brings to the job great skill and a wealth of experience. i trust you will give him your full support to as we walk together toward our common objectives, peace, stability, and prosperity for the people of afghanistan. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, secretary general. i am delighted to introduce president karzai to deliver his keynote address. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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honorable prime minister gordon brown, your excellency secretary-general, excellencies, are will ministers, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen -- i am delighted to be attending this important conference that brings together the friends and supporters of afghanistan. my compatriots and i are deeply grateful to the international community for the attention and support to our country has received during the past several years. matt take this opportunity to express my very special thanks -- may i take this opportunity to express my very special thanks and gratitude to gordon brown to host this timely conference, offering to renew his commitment to the cause of
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peace and human progress in the region. this conference offers us opportunity to discuss the way forward toward an afghan-led, afghan-owned initiative. it will ensure peace and stability in afghanistan. today, i will not talk about our collective achievements, which have been considerable and numerous over the past several years. would like to take the opportunity to talk -- contemplate on a few of the issues that are presently of great significance to the people of afghanistan as well as to the international community engaged in afghanistan. however, let me remind us all that the successes of the past eight years would not have been possible without great sacrifices brought forward by the afghan people and by the men
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and women of our partners in countries, both military and civilian. the people of afghanistan will not forget these sacrifices. the memory of the afghan troops who have lost their lives while fighting terrorism will always remain in our hearts. we pray for them and we send our deepest condolences to their families and friends. we all recognize the urgency of improving security in afghanistan. but we also should recognize is that the goal of improving security in afghanistan cannot be achieved without mutual interest. and security in afghanistan is high in many ways -- in security in afghanistan is high in many ways because of problems that exist outside our borders.
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developing such a broad approach to security will require a wider cooperation among the countries of the region. while afghanistan is moving slowly, but surely, toward the end goals of peace and stability, the success of our efforts will depend on the building the confidence of the afghan people. to win afghans confidence, we need to focus on bringing security to their daily lives by providing them with the need for protection, justice, employment, and good governance. to make our joint effort successful, we must make our plans and -- we must base their plans and actions on the needs
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of the afghan people. they can be summarized in four simple words. afghan leadership, afghan ownership. we will not see afghanistan take solid strides toward ownership of the security and development. to achieve this noble goal, we should work and make progress along the following six-point framework. the first is peace, reconciliation, and reintegration. moving toward peace is what afghans agree on. we must reach out to all of their countrymen, especially are disenchanted brothers who are
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not part of the al qaeda or other terrorist networks, who except the afghan constitution. to do this, we will establish a council -- national council for peace and reintegration followed by a -- to make the program is success, we hope that his majesty will kindly play a role to assist the peace process. we asked all of our neighbors to support to our peace and reconciliation endeavors. we're looking forward to the international community supporting this plan of action. i concur with the decision of the united nations to remove the names of some taliban from the
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list. we will pursue our peace and reconciliation goals as we remain committed to the principles of the rights of all afghan men and women. second, security remains our highest priority for years to come. with the help of our partners and neighbors, we will continue to take every step needed to achieve this noble goal. i welcome the support of the united states and other partners at strengthening the capability and strength and leadership of the afghan national security forces. during the next two-three years, we intend to focus on gradually assuming the responsibility of security in parts of our
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country. this will allow our international partners to eventually move their forces out of the parts secured by our own forces. we will spare no effort to and sacrifice to leave the security of our country all over afghanistan. regrettably, civilian casualties' continue to be a great concern. we should put the protection of people's lives and property at the top of their agenda. we should do our best to minimize the need for nightly raids. such raids may take place only under special circumstances. the afghan people demand that
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such operations are conducted by afghan forces. we must ensure the security of the afghan state. we must bring its in line with the laws of afghanistan. national sovereignty also requires demonstrating commitment to to justice. afghanistan wants to work with the united states and with nato to take charge of all detention centers in afghanistan. we will create a commission that will review all detention and those will be facilitated and completed during the next few months. third, good governance. good governance is at the top of
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our action plan. it will continue to reform our state institutions. we need to strengthen the leadership, management, and oversight capabilities of our civil service and their democratic institutions. we should streamline and rationalize our rules, regulations, and procedures, so that it can work smoothly, free of corruption. afghanistan requires the consolidation and cogitation across village district, a municipality, province. there is no constitutional impediment to the delegation of decision making to lower levels of governance. bypassing the center will have perverse implications for good governance. reviving in strengthening our traditional institutions at
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local levels can go a long way in improving people's lives. strengthening our traditional institutions will promote help the communities, in gauging elders -- engaging our elders. empowerment of local council makes the development project more demand oriented and cost- effective. our approach to good governance is expanding the reach of the central government to the modest part of the country as well as building up systems of governance right up from the village level to the center. we expect the international community to support us in these are vital endeavors. we're looking forward to free and fair parliamentary elections in the month of december. these elections will provide
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another opportunity for f -- for the people of afghanistan to exercise their right to go -- vote. it will bring us further down the road of democracy. it will ensure the integrity of the elections and misconduct in the process. the afghans have learned our lessons during the presidential elections that we had a month ago. we hope that international assistance to our parliamentary elections will be impartial, technical, and constructive. fight against corruption. there is no doubt that could functioning institutions are the foundations on which peaceful functioning society is rest. -- society rests. it has meant that public demands
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are more clearly heard and addressed. we are committed to working with these and other institutional -- institutions of democracy to strengthen transparency and accountability in the system. fighting corruption will be the key focus of my second term in office. the government is committed to fighting corruption with all means possible. including the punishing those who commit it and rewarding those who avoid it. we must make sure that we do not stop at fighting symptoms of a corruption. rather, we must take action against its root cause. we will further strengthen the high office of anti-corruption, providing it with better capacity, we will rarely implemented the anti-corruption strategy and provide new powers to the high office to an
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oversight authority. we are determined to put an end to to the mpd as we move along the path of rule of law and democracy. -- impunity as we move along the path of rule of law and democracy. economic development -- improving the living conditions of the afghan people be the key priority of the development during the coming years. it will promote sustainable economic growth, improving the base of the labor force and creating more jobs in the public and private sectors. these are among the major goals of our economic policy for this year and beyond. an integrated development under the direction of the afghan national development strategy has a foundation will be presented soon.
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afghanistan will continue to depend on external aid for its economic system along with improved capacity, leadership, and pagination to deliver the development of the objectives. demand-driven and technical assistance will better serve our common goals for and enabled afghanistan. we should focus our development efforts on education and health. it will bring new land and cultivation and improving agricultural productivity and reviving an expanding -- these are among the top priorities as well. the government is taking significant steps toward delivering raising more revenue and creates competitive and
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transparent national resources sector. despite many discussions, more than 80% of aid still bypasses the afghan government. large security costs and unacceptably high profit played reconstruction contracts. instead of relying on the aids bureaucracy, more -- aid t bureaucracy. we call upon the committee to take concrete steps toward implementation of the past agreement. we will work hard to transport the afghan private sector into a real engine during the next five years. ladies and gentlemen, a unified aid mechanism would transparent
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rules for effectiveness would be an enormous positive impact on development and reduction of poverty in afghanistan. regional cooperation will be a major pillar of our efforts for stabilization in america -- in afghanistan. economic cooperation, cooperation in transit trade, fighting terrorism, drugs and weapons smuggling, housing modern security -- these are the elements. afghanistan has participated in many regional cooperation programs and has reiterated its commitment. to cooperate on all these fronts, we are eager to see more tangible results as far as progress in these areas.
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i believe we have a strong and adequate to regional platform that promotes cooperation among our neighbors. it can be used to establish direct links between key regional forums. this will provide a new window of opportunity for wider cooperation to combat the spread of terrorism and narcotics and promote peace and economic cooperation in the region. we need to see specific measures for its implementation. i am thankful for our brother countries, the republic of turkey, to serve as a location for regional talks.
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eight years ago, afghanistan and the international committee began their journey to help afghanistan re-establishing itself as a peaceful and contributing member of the community of nations. given the enormous challenge and the implications, completing this journey successfully must remain the highest focus of the international effort to trade peace and security of the world has been inexplicably linked to peace and stability in afghanistan. to inshore momentum of our efforts, i invite our friends and partners to participate in the conference next spring. i would like to thank all the countries that have contributed to afghanistan in the past. with the taxpayers' money, with
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the lives of their men and women in service, civilian and military, and i would also like to thank those countries, friends of ours, who have announced contributions to afghanistan over the last two days and will be making some today. the afghan people assure you of our commitment and hard work toward reaching our shared a vision -- are shared vision. thank you, mr. prime minister. thank you, participants, for attending today's gathering. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you very much, mr. president. i am now going to be joined on the platform by my cochairs and president karzai.
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>> are covered on the conference in afghanistan -- on afghanistan continues in a moment. -- our coverage on the conference continues in a moment. the commerce department reporting the 5.7 annual growth rate in the fourth quarter was the fastest pace since 2003. reports say it shows that the worst recession since the 1930's ended last year, although academic panel says it has yet to declare an end to it. former british prime minister tony blair is answering questions before an official inquiry looking into whether britain's involvement in the iraq war was justified. mr. blair is facing questions today on allegations that his government was so determined to topple saddam hussein that the exaggerated the content of intelligence reports on the weapons of mass destructive --
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destructions. president obama is on his way to baltimore where he will visit a small business to announce a revised business tax credit. it would go to companies to hire new workers. the president then visits congressional republicans meeting in baltimore for their animal retreat. we will have live coverage of that starting at about 12:10. mike mullen talks about leadership today and strategy, participating in a discussion with john warner and others. live coverage of that at 3:00. >> deerfield that american jazz can be an instrument for spreading -- do you feel that american jazz can be an instrument for spreading good will overseas? >> i think so. just like a religion. >> he was without question the single most important figure in jazz and 20 century. >> q&a, sunday, his new
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biography of jazz great louis armstrong. it is at 8:00 on c-span. saturday, the history of executive power from george washington to george w. bush. john yoo talks about his book. it is part of their book tv weekend on c-span2. representatives from over 60 countries met in london yesterday to set goals on the future of afghanistan. after the meeting, the afghan foreign minister took questions. this is 40 minutes. >> welcome to the concluding press conference of today's conference on afghanistan. i am here with special representative and on my rights, for the minister of afghanistan and now the special
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representative of president karzai. you've had distributed to you the the communication and i would like to confirm the version that you were given is the final version. to i am not going to read it aloud, but i do want to report to you on today's conference and give you some of the highlights. the unifying theme of the conference was that the afghan people want and deserve a better future. we were delighted that two representatives of afghan society were able to speak to the conference this afternoon. all speakers paid their respects to the military and civilian who have been killed or wounded over the last eight years. all emphasized that 2010 was going to be a decisive year in
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the afghan campaign. decisive because there is a new government. decisive because there is a refreshed counterinsurgency strategy. indecisive because there is an international commitment. decisive because along side the increase in its military efforts, there is a civilian research now in place. the coordination of the international mission. it is because 2010 is such an importing year that gordon brown conceded this conference. the aim of the conference was to align the military and civilian resources of every coalition partner behind a clear political strategy. to help president karzai and his government deliver the ambitious
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agenda that he set out in his inaugural speech last november. the themes of mutual responsibility, afghan and international, and the unity behind a clear plan came through very strongly. i hope you had a chance to look at the communique. it explains how the international community is going to upgrade. security, governance and development, regional relations. in respect of security, i want to highlight the new figures for the growth of the afghan national security forces in 200011. -- 2011. supported by commitments from the international community parade alongside that growth, there is the endorsement of the nato plan for the transition to afghan security leadership province by province. some provinces will trance --
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half of afghanistan's provinces would have afghan security leadership within three years and the whole of afghanistan would be within five years. i also want to highlight the presentation in respect to the reintegration and reconciliation program that president karzai has set out. president karzai said he would be convening a national reconciliation council and the international community has responded with significant funding to help support that. today alone, there's been over one had $40 million worth of commitment for the first year of the national reintegration program and we are committed to seeing that through. secondly, in respect to governance and development, afghanistan will receive about $1.6 billion in debt relief.
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it is now qualified for the country status in a presentation from the imf. explained how the new program would build on the remarkable economic achievements in afghanistan in 2009. the afghan government also taking steps to tackle the issue of corruption. present crop -- president karzai repeated his commitment. there'll be an independent high office for oversight and the international community will be supporting anti-corruption. once conditions for the delivery of aid are met, the proportion of development assistance channeled to the government will rise to 50% within two years. finally, in respect of the regional contribution, i was in istanbul on tuesday talking with
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all the neighbors of afghanistan and the regional partners about how they are going to play a role in supporting stability. that was strongly repeated today by the regional representatives led by the foreign minister of turkey and we look forward to afghanistan's regional engagement being taken to a new level. i should also point out that the international community has recognized the need for us to up our game just as the call on the afghan government to up their game. the secretary was introduced to the conference and he will take over a special representative of the u.n. secretary general in march. i would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the way in which he has taken forward his work over the last two years with a humanitarian and brave commitment that speaks to all the values of the un. i am also pleased at the very
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positive endorsement that came with the appointment of the ambassador. he will start his duties immediately. let me just conclude by saying that the biggest deliverable of all from this conference is not just the individual items that i have lifted -- listed now. the biggest deliverable is the unity and coherence of the international effort and its alignment behind a very clear afghan plan. i believe the 65 foreign ministers will leave today's conference very clear about the challenges in afghanistan and how they will be met by the afghan authorities and with the support of the international community. with that, i am happy to hand over -- we will be happy to take your questions. >> this afternoon. -- good afternoon. i have to thank you and your
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government. i have to thank you for your excellent organization of this important conference. this is the second important conference in london on afghanistan. this is inauspicious occasion to underline the commitments for strengthening peace, stability, and addressing the common challenges. as you mentioned, afghanistan deserves to take more responsibility and to
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demonstrate ownership on the whole process. the issues of good governance and strengthening peace and desires of my people and myself, of course. to realize this dream, we are ready to take on more responsibility for afghanistan and for the future of our people. in this regard, to address the challenges, we need the long- term commitment from the international community because afghanistan -- this is our firm commitment and determination to take the possibility, defend our
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country. we need your support. and adequate equipment for security forces for the challenges. from afghanistan. a few, the problem of terrorism is a special. this is a problem international with impact and we have to address this challenge together. allow me here once again to thank you during the last years for your cooperation and support with myself as the minister of foreign affairs with afghanistan. a special representative of the united nations. i have to thank you for the
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afghan people for your support and especially for the rights movement and freedom of speech that you made of the central topics of common activities. today was a good day for afghanistan. we removed our common commitment as compaq for afghanistan and we're ready to take more responsibility in three years for the critical districts of afghanistan. we want to take the leadership of responsibility for the whole afghanistan within five years. thank you very much. it was a great opportunity to be in london.
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>> i believe this conference perhaps for the first time has sent out a clear agenda with a clear priority is from the afghan government that we have seen in any previous conference. we were in paris. it was approved. it was a broad agenda. we have a much more strategic approach to the way we want to go. on the security and the civilian side. i to believe we have a clear, comprehensive strategy then we have had before. let me also say it is the first time of the question of reinvigoration has played such a role in the international conference and for strong
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support from the international community. that is important. we have committed to a transition strategy which means that we must give moral authority, up more of art -- more responsibilities to the afghan government and the afghan people. we have set certain clear objectives with regard to the development of the afghan police and the afghan army. we have also set a roadmap from now to kabul and what i expect in kabul when the conference takes place later this year is that we will have equally clear and precise plans for how to develop the civilian institutions and the economy. let me say a few words on that. we are in is a tuition where we
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do spend much too much money on a quick impact projects. we must diverse resources to build institutions solely afghans themselves can deliver these services to the people. we must develop the afghan economy in the way they can sustain what these services will cost in the future. between now and kabul, we must have in place concrete plans for how the international community cannot get behind the government. this conference was a clear sign we are all in the transition strategy and it is important for the future of this country. thank you. >> we will not take some questions. >> i think a microphone will come to you. >> thank you.
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tim marshall. thank you. the transition strategy is now coming into focus. part of it is supporting fund to pay members of the taliban and to basically a switched sides. rent them, buy them. can you deal with that which arises from that? you believe there is any ambiguity to send it soldiers out to fight at the same time as trying to pay the taliban not to fight? perhaps some of the families of the soldiers serving might be asking. >> the family of the soldiers from every part of the coalition as well as the families of the afghan soldiers want the war to end as soon as possible. part of cuts strategy requires military force. part of it requires is civilian development strategy to hold the loyalty of the afghan people. it must be part of a new
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political settlement in afghanistan. i do not accept that the reintegration fund has been established to rent back shows insurgents who are currently being paid $10, $30, a day to fight for the insurgency. that fund will help ensure the employment, the infrastructure, the organization of a serious drive for political engagement that will offer a long-term security for communities in afghanistan better able to defend themselves. only those committed to global jihad and violence are outside. it is very important that we underline the representative has said today. the unity and the political space must be extended to include significant numbers who have been excluded.
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it is important because grievances need to be pursued not through violence. the insistence this morning that those who want to come into politics must respect the afghan constitution is an important part of that. i hope that the soldiers and diplomats and aid workers will recognize that today there is a viable and clear goal for bringing this conflict to an end. that is one in which military forces deployed in order to support a clear political strategy. >> stringer from the associated press. a question for dr. spencer. can you say how high up in the taliban hierarchy you anticipate this reintegration program will reach? kenny say whether members of the taliban will be invited and how
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soon of a tool to recommend they can perhaps join the government? >> well, the integration and consolation of the afghan government is not the to share the political power with the taliban. afghan citizens, they are not happy with our government or they are paying by their heart of taliban or because the other reason they are fighting us, we have to help and bring them back to the society of afghanistan and give them a prospective for a better life, job, and the future. this is our responsibility.
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they are the majority of taliban. the hard-liner, the leadership of taliban, either they are the part of the fighter or not. they have their own business. they are not ready to work with each other. we have to encourage them for we constellation. some members of today are in the parliament of afghanistan and also they begin a peaceful life. this is the responsibility of government because the effort to bring stability and peace in afghanistan is not only to reach with the military toll. we have to have a comprehensive strategy with the reconstruction and the peace element and also negotiation
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with all those elements that they are ready to put down the arms. this is the responsibility of afghanistan. they are in the majority in the resurgence. >> a question for the foreign secretary. when the prime minister announced this conference would take place, they would agree on the process of transferriton to afghan forces. -- the transition to afghan forces. he also said the five provinces would be under afghan responsibility. now he set a number of provinces would transition. would this be an area which this conference has fallen short of
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expectations? " i did nothing so, no. if you looked at the agreement of the north atlantic council, i discussed this on monday. the mat on tuesday. they agreed on a detailed -- they mets on tuesday. the process by which the aspects of decision making and transition would take place. they agreed to balance on local decision agreement in brussels. exactly as the prime minister said, this was a forcing. to make sure they were clear about how the transition would take place. every stage, we said this conference is about mobilizing international effort. and all stages, the keep was for the baton to be passed on with the plan would be married
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together. that is indeed happening. i think the presentation by gerald mcchrystal this morning as wallace by the secretary general of nato -- a presentation by general mcchrystal shows the detail of military planning and operations. i think you will see that forced through and develops over the course of the next year and a half. >> thank you. i'm from "the london post." do you support having local -- they were fighting with the forces. his excellency, and you have any plan for the rehabilitation
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of the 2.5 million people living inside afghanistan? there could be a breeding ground for terrorist. any plan for that? >> i think the example of pakistan is important in thinking through the implications of the twin strategies of military and political together. we know the situation shows if you only pursuit a political strategy or only pursue a military strategy, it will not work. you need a military effort and a clear offer for those to denounce violence. we strongly support the initiative of the government of pakistan and the people of pakistan over the last year. in taking on the insurgency, it is such a threat to the state and to the people. the fact there's now military
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pressure on both sides of the border for the first time is very significant. i think the fact that the authorities are corporate with each other rather than pointing fingers at each other is a significant step forward. i believe that the recognition that stability are linked represents a significant step forward to the sort of regional cooperation that will be at the heart of any political settlement. afghanistan has been the chess board for the victim of other countries' policies for there is a fighting chance if they can having integrity that its people have craved. >> they received 5.3 million
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afghan refugees during the past seven years. this is a tremendous number of refugees after the second world war, the highest and biggest number. the reintegration of this number of refugees is historical -- is a historical task from the conflict-affected afghanistan. the repatriation of this number and integration is a difficult job. unfortunately, there is a huge number of refugees in pakistan. we are in close contact in us, bought and tehran with the support and cooperation of un-
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hcr to launch the repatriation of this number of afghan refugees and many facets is not only to bring them back. as you mentioned, we have and maybe more than 2 million and nearly 2 million other refugees in iran and we created a repatriation before this number. we need money, patients, and the solidarity of our brothers in pakistan. in time. >> i am from german radio. i have two questions.
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the first to the foreign secretary. to the foreign secretary, iran was invited but did not participate. do you think or did you know the aspect of this to have support of this country and the solution of this conflict? my other question, the next conference will be in a couplka. some elements of taliban were omitted. do you think some of these elements will be invited to this reintegration to kabul as a business of the taliban? >> you are right that iran's
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foreign minister was invited to this conference. for some reason, he chose not to attend. i say that this inexplicable because on the occasions i have met him, he has talked to me about the damage and danger that instability in afghanistan poses to iran. talked about the damage and danger of drugs. that is one reason why we thought it was right to invite iran to participate in this conference. we think it is deeply regrettable that they failed to attend, even the ambassador of iran who was invited to attend the conference if the doctor was unable to intent, also found it impossible to attend the conference. it is important that countries
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say what they mean and mean what they say . we meant it they sayiran should attend and pele positive role. they said they want to play a positive role in promoting stability. their failure to attend the conference means many countries will drop their own conclusions about the dissonance between the words and the deeds. i think that is deeply regrettable. i hope they realize they are not the victims of other people's conspiracies. >> i prefer to respond to your question in german. in london, i have to speak with my half english. ok.
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there are two different things in kabul. one is that the couple conference that will be complementary of the other one. we have to go implement that in kabul. that will be at the level of the foreign minister. the other thing is the peace scheduling that is a domestic issue on the location which will be with president karzai in a few weeks. this conference we invited the elder from different parts of the country, people from afghan society, the president of the
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society to come together and discuss the issue of how we have -- how we can make peace with each other because this is our issue. the history is a long history. those elements and leadership of taliban are leaving since eight years in kabul. four of the five which was requested to years ago. -- two years ago. there was a request of the afghan government and the taliban and leadership. we have to talk to the citizens
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of afghanistan that they are not an integral part of al qaeda and they are ready to respect and accept afghan institution, human rights, and from my point of view, woman's rights and gender equality. >> speaking of women's rights, question for you. a few hours ago, i was approached by a group of afghani women. there represent 200 associations of of getting women. they are appalled, of potomac, at the fact fact -- they are appalled, they told me to that. >> i think the groups and moment you talk about are in the room
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here. one made it powerful presentation to the conference. what i think they have expressed to me last night and today is that we have to mean we say about people coming within the afghan constitution. the afghan constitution is clear about the equal rights that should be afforded to men and women. when we say that those who are willing to live within the afghan constitution should do so, we should not be clear. i think is right that we prevent a clear choice to the insurgency. either you're reconciled within the politics or you face military force led by afghans with international support. the choice is with those who would use violence to overturn the rights of women and men in afghanistan by using violence and those willing to use the constitution and the security
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forces to intent i hope -- i hoe that that provides this sort of explanation that they want to hear. there was powerful testimony today. the problems poverty and political and ethnic fragmentation inquired the engagement of afghan women in a strong way. that was a message to secretary clinton reinforced extremely strongly in their contribution today. it's a message that has been taken on board and bears repeating. that is why the engagement was so important, to underlie the opint. -- to underline the point. >> the issue of human rights and
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democratization is not a package that we can take from europe and bring other circumstances. it is a process. we will have -- we have in europe something between the reality of freedom and equality. we have also in london and in berlin and in other places. but to remove this gap between the reality and division, that's is our job -- that is our job, up to act together and through the struggle of a better life and democratization
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worldwide, including afghanistan. i am absolutely against this. democracy is only four european countries. human rights, freedom of speech is the universal right for all humanity. but the realization of that, when the time and strategy. that will be painful. i can tell you from my own experience that is exactly as i demonstrated in my country. i was 14 years old. that is 42 years and still i am looking for the removal of equal problems. we have to work together. but despite all the difficulties compared to the
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other constitutions in the region, it is a different constitution. we are the only constitution in the region -- we are the only country that has adapted the universal human rights declaration as part of our rights. our commitments to this universal declaration of human rights, which includes also gender equality. the realization of the content of this declaration, we need more time, patience, and common experience. >> my question is this.
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it is the first time pakistani people are united against terrorism and they're behind the army. the results about the drone of tax. they are conducted by the american forces on the side of pakistan. they're producing more and more terrorists. you have gathered almost 70 countries and you're talking with the taliban and the other factions. the think is appropriate to conduct droned attacks on pakistan -- do you think is appropriate to conduct drone attacks on pakistan? >> one important change over the last year is that the importance of pakistan to afghanistan is no longer being forgotten. it is a significant shift under the obama administration. the authorities want more help
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in taking on the economic political and security challenges that they face. as you indicate, pakistan is an independent country that wants to have control over its own territory and its own affairs. we think that the growing dialogue between america and pakistan is a good thing. we think as a friend that they need to work together. my message is the pakistan and america need to match the desire of pakistan for help with the desire of america to give that helped in the face of some common challenges. is that corporations that i think meets today the onset to the question you're posing. >> i agree with what the
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secretary said. can i add a few words about the peace process? of belief with the reintegration process, it is important. but it has to be permanent. how does that process get under way? we all know from others that is a complex process and that it will take time. it is a psychologically important step. it's a confidence-building measure. i believe it should be followed by going through the list of detainees that exist in bobruag. could be taken out of detention. that would be a confidence- building measure. such a confidence-building measures come from the international community have to
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be met by similar measures from the other side. if not, it will not be possible to get the peace process underway. with thregard to the role of women, we cannot compromise in the sense that we initiate and we conduct a peace process at the expense of the human rights of any of them, certainly not the human rights of half the population of pakistan. that is impossible. there is a clear red line. it must be a peace process where we get together and look forward and not backwards. these are important preconditions for any peace process to lead anywhere. >> we are out of time. thank you very much.
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>> secretary of state clinton was the u.s. representative at that conference. her comments are coming up. the u.s. economy grew at the end of last year. it was it 5.7% and the fastest rate since 2003. the u.s. will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. this comes a day after a pledge to cut gases by 17% by 2020. the president is in baltimore today. he will be speaking to congressional republicans. they are meeting for their annual legislative retreat. we will have live coverage. it all begins at about 12:10 eastern. we will have a live for you here. tony blair is entering questions
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before an official inquiry looking into whether their involvement in the barack war was justified. the government was determined to topple saddam hussein, according to the allegations. the inquiry continues. it is live on c-span-3. michael nylmullen will be speaking this afternoon. cloud cover its at 3:00. this weekend, the growth of the muslim middle class. it could and religious extremism. the political cartoons of dr. seuss. also presidential foreign-policy going back to the nixon administration. fine the entire schedule on-line
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and listen to c-span radio at 90.1 fm. it is also a free app for your iphone. c-span radio, covering washington like no other. >> now back to the london conference. secretary clinton. her comments run about 20 minutes. >> we have seen the results of corporation and the international community on a number of important issues. i want to thank prime minister brown and secretary miliband bring us all together and sponsoring this important meeting. i think that what we have seen
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is a global challenge that is being met with a global response. i thanke the countries that have committed additional troops, pleading with the united kingdom but including italy, germany, and from india. we're grateful to all of those who made their contributions known today. there are other countries such as russia, who are providing airspace rights and other transit assistance. we know force alone cannot achieve our goals. last week i released the u.s. afghanistan and pakistan regional stabilization strategy. the goal is to support the afghan-led efforts to transform and strengthen their own society and insure their own security. as we heard a lot today, starting with prime minister
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brown and president karzai and many others, the goal is to have an afghan-led an afghan-owned strategy. and we're seeing that translated into reality every day. president karzai laid out an ambitious agenda for reform at his inauguration last year. there has been a number of plans put forth and afghanistan has moved forward operation for a conditions-base transition to take responsibility for its own security and and and 34 governments, which is critical to the future. among the decisions made today was to establish a peace and trust fund, to support the efforts to draw disaffected taliban back into society so
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long as they renounce violence, pronounced al qaeda, agree to abide by the loss and constitution of afghanistan. japan has showed a strong commitment with $50 million for the fund. the united states military has been authorized to use substantial funds to support the effort, enabling our commanders on the ground to support the afghan government-led initiative to take insurgents off the battlefield. we have agreed to support nato's plan to work with the afghan government on the conditions- based transition. our efforts will allow us to begin to transition our own troops out of afghanistan in july of 2011. as i said this morning and would
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underscore this afternoon, this is not an exit strategy. it is about assisting and partnering with the afghans. the kinds of reforms president karzai has announced are important and we are going to watch them carefully and make clear our expectations that they be filled. among them are the efforts to combat corruption, provide more public services to people, effectively manage international aid. we had a very constructive conversations last night at dinner hosted by the secretary. this morning, hosted by prime minister of brown. the international community can support these reforms more effectively, including progress toward afghanistan's benchmarks for debt relief from the paris club.
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i also believe strongly, as is apparent in what i say about this issue, that women have to be involved at every step of the way in this process. by and felt our women's action plan. it includes initiatives focused on security, a women's leadership, women's access to judicial institutions, education, and health services, women's ability to take advantage of economic opportunities. this is a comprehensive, ford- looking agenda that stands in stark contrast -- forward- looking agenda. they tend to send suicide bombers to the west. the agreement reached today brings us closer to the goal of a stable afghanistan and advances efforts to combat
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extremist. in addition to this important work, i have the opportunity to meet one-on-one with a number of my counterparts on the sidelines of this meeting. we discussed a wide range of common concerns including relief efforts in haiti. i thank the british government for its significance assistance support for the people of haiti. i also had a chance to discuss iran's refusal with their nuclear program. the continued to pviolate requirements. the rejected an offer that would have built confidence by trading some of their stockpile of low-enriched uranium for reactors ♪ -- for reactor fuel.
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further questions have been raised about their intentions. in response, the government has provided a continuous stream of threats to intensify their violation of international norms. it leaves us with little choice to apply greater pressure in the hopes it will cost perause irano behave differently. tomorrow i will travel to paris where i will concealed many of these discussions with president sarkozy. i look forward to our close consultations with respect to the challenges facing us. i am delighted we had an opportunity to get a lot of work done on many matters in one place, a favored place of mine.
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i thank the british government for their partnership and hospitality and i would be glad to take your questions. >> i am with "the daily telegraph." hello. i want to ask about general tenure of the conference. to some extent, looking towards the time when troops can leave. a time scale has been mentioned by president cars it of around 15 years. i wondered whether you thought that was a practical time limits to start pulling troops out and also to have the taliban laid down their arms within that time. >> i do not think that is what president karzai meant.
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first of all, we have increased the number of our military forces. there will be more to come. the united states has added 30,000. other partners have added 9000. we have uppped the tempo of the military engagement. that is all to the good. it is necessary in order to provide the conditions for stability and security. it is not sufficient to provide the political environment in which a lasting peace could be negotiated. as you heard today, we will be pursuing the military action going aggressively against the taliban. those trying to kill our soldiers and civilians and week
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havoc in afghanistan. at the same time, creating an opportunity for the taliban who choose to leave the battlefield, pronounced al qaeda, agree to re-enter society. our working assumption that we can make gains on both of these tracks over the next few years and that we can begin to transition security to the afghan security forces on a timetable that is conditions-a base. but which begins to have the afghan security forces assume greater responsibility problems but province beginning this year. july 2011 walmarill mark a
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point of transition for american troops. we expect there to be a portion of the country that will be under afghan control. we will move forward to transitioned out our forces as they are replaced by a trained and qualified afghan forces. i think what president karzai was referring to is that our military presence may continue as it does in many countries, providing training, logistics, intelligence, but air combat role will diminish and transition out. bet is as it should be. -- that is as it should be. there was a significant of that
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if you weeks ago with the multiply time it suicide attacks in kabul. it was handled well by the afghans themselves. there were no international troops involved. the assessment by our commanders, american and nato commanders, is that the afghan forces performed commendably. we have seen an increase in the recruitment of young men joining the afghan security forces in the last two months. we have seen an improvement in retention. we have increased the pay, something that was quite noticeably lacking since the taliban paid more than the afghan security forces or police pay. and mentioned this to create the context that we see this as an evolving process where we are creating the conditions for
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afghanistan to assume responsibility for its own security which would then permit the transfer out of international combat forces. there will likely be taken to doing military aid and advice from international partners beyond a combat mission. >> the next question is from north dakota: -- andy quinn of reuters. >> the government has invited the taliban to take part in the planned this year. does the u.s. support this invitation, and you think the invitation could or should include top taliban leadership, if they renounce ties to al qaeda? does the u.s. have any plans to contribute funds beyond military funds you have mentioned to the reintegration fun of the
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japanese are helping to establish? do you feel this reconciliation process represents the first. in a real road map toward ending the conflict in afghanistan? -- does represent the first point? >> is starting premise is you do not make peace with your friends. you have to be willing to engage with your enemies if you expect to create a situation that ends in insurgency or so marginalizes the remaining insurgents that it does not pose a threat to the security of the people. president karzai announced he would be holding a traditional afghan mechanism for trying to reconcile competing views and
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reach decisions to take. it was natural for him to say that if you're going to have a piece jurga, people not already in agreement with you might actually come. we have a clear understanding of what we expect from this process. we expect that a lot of the foot soldiers on the battlefield will be leaving the taliban because many of them have wanted to leave. many of them are tired of fighting. we believe the tide is beginning to turn against them. we need incentives in order to protect and provide alternatives to them to replace the payment received as taliban fighters. this is similar to what the american military didn't er in
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iraq. a number of iraqis were tired of the brutality of al qaeda. as they began to see the potential alternatives available to them in the political system, they began to talk with our military personnel about changing allegiance and becoming part of the forces fighting against the terrorists. so we have some experience in this now, recent vintage, some of the same people including a british general who is active in this. in iraq, they are advising general mcchrystal. we have seen some example. there is an article in one of the american papers today talking about a whole tribe of's tun poshtuns who want to fight e
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taliban. there was a tribe in a village in pakistan who decided to fight the taliban. there were targeted with this brutal suicide bombings, killing more than 100 people in a volleyball match. in order to make good on the offer of an alternative that can create the conditions for peace , you have to be prepared to help fund it and provide protection for people. that is part of the planning. we do not have any plans to add money to the reintegration fund. we have a significant amount of money being used for the same purposes. this is an international effort. a number of partners have signed up and made commitments to the reintegration fund. they will be working in the same arena with the same purpose.
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>> our last question is from bloomberg news. >> thank you. what did you hear from a chinese foreign ministry that assures you china is ready to support a new u.n. security council resolution on iran? a was a response about chinese hacking into google and your concerns about internet censorship in china? what would you say two prominent american business leaders like bill gates who said china's internet censorship is a very limited? >> on iran, we had a very productive conversation with the foreign minister. they are part of a p5 plus one process. hoping continues to move forward
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on that same tract to work together, to change the strategic calculus of the iranian leadership with respect to its nuclear program. we shared some of our thoughts with our chinese counterparts. we also set up some additional opportunities for expert consultations. we made it clear with everyone i spoke with today and yesterday that our efforts to apply pressure on iran are not meant to punish the iranian people. they are meant to change the approach that the iranian government has taken toward its nuclear program. and we made that clear when the p5 plus one agree on a common plan to offer iran big
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opportunity to ship out its leu another process for its research reactor in tehran, which they have thus far refused to accept. china is very much engaged, an active member of the p5 plus one, and we continue to work together. i am not going to preview what our plans are at this time. but i think we had a very constructive conversation. i raised the issue as you would have expected i did on the cool and internet freedom front -- on the google and the internet freedom front. china has their approach. they feel strongly that they are much more open than perhaps they are getting credit for. we expressed, i expressed my concerns that we do not want to create a series of actions that
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in any way it is impinges on the freedom and utility of the internet. it was a very open, candid conversation. we agreed and will continue to discuss this matter in the context of our ongoing dialogue. as you can tell from the quotation you referred to by bill gates, different people have differing responses or different impressions. the overall issue is one that i think everyone should be concerned about and that is making sure makino one uses the internet for purposes of censorship or repression. we had a very positive exchange on this issue with the chinese today. let me end. you have been very patient. let me end by asking these four women from afghanistan to stand
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up. would he will stand up? they are among who have been working in afghanistan for the last years on behalf of expanding opportunities for women, protecting human rights and women's rights. i have had a chance to work whiffs some of the afghan women who were here for the conference today in the past. they are very much committed to their country's future. there also committed to making sure that women in afghanistan play their rightful role in the country's future. i just wanted to thank them for being here and for speaking out. thank you all very much. [applause] >> were to live from the commerce department, the u.s.
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economy grew at the end of last year, ups 5.7%. president obama earlier today announced the government will reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by 20% in the next decade. this comes a day after the u.s. pledged to cut emissions by 17% by 2020. the president is in baltimore today, touring a business and talking about jobs. he will be speaking shortly at the annual retreat. we will have live comments and republican questions to follow. it should get underway shortly. first, we have the u.s. house. no legislative business expected. the senate came in today. the have gaveled out for the weekend. no legislative work. there will be back next week to debate a bill about tightening
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cyber security. live house coverage here on c- span. we're covering aradmiral mike mullen. this is live at 3:00 p.m. eastern. >> american jazz can be an instrument for spreading good will overseas. >> i think so. over there, jazz is strong, just like a religion. they lived it. >> he was without question the single most important figure in jazz in the 20th century. >> the new biography of jazz great louis armstrong on c-span. saturday, the history of executive power from george washington to george bush.
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author john yoo talks about his new book, "crisis and command." this weekend on c-span-2 "book tv, " the political cartoons of dr. seuss. the growth of the muslim middle class. it could end religious extremism. also, presidential foreign- policy going back to the nixon administration. find the entire weekend schedule act it's the latest updates on twitter. >> the u.s. house is about to me. it is a pro forma session. the senate passed a measure to increase the federal debt limit by nearly $2 trillion.
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it includes pay-as-you-go rules. the house will consider the bill when they return next week. right now, pro forma session. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c., january 29, 2010. i hereby appoint the honorable donna f. edwards to act as speaker protemp on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend dr. allen keer unanimous of the allen keer unanimous of the office of the senate chaplain. the chaplain: would you bow your heads in prayer. almighty god, loving father, prince of peace, the
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star-studded heavens declare your glory and the is a fire skies the works of your hands. we are gathered here today, lord, because we have committed ourselves to the service of our nation. we are grateful for the many freedoms and opportunities we enjoy yet mindful of the brevity of human life. as we look to the future, help us to know and do your will your way for your glory. lord, you have blessed our land with fertile soil, years of plenty, hope for the bright future. you have raised up our nation's representatives for a season of fruitful service. may you grant them the opportunity to plant good seeds in good soil and see across this land the tangible fruit of their selfless labor and, lord, we pray today for all those who are in harm's way and their loved ones, asking that your mighty hand would protect them and deliver them from evil.
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in this i pray, in the name of our redeemer, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house her approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the chair will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c., january 29, 2010. i hereby appoint the honorable donna f edwards to act as speaker pro tempore, to sign enrolled bills and joint re-resolutions on this day. signed, nancy pelosi, speaker
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of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the appointment is approved. the chair laste before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on january 29, 2010, at 9:35 a.m. that the senate passed senate 2799, that the senate passed senate 2968 that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 4508, with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the chair laste before the house a communication -- lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the
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speaker, house of representatives, madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on january 28, 2010, at 5:21 p.m. that the senate agreed to, with an amendment, house joint resolution 45, that the senate agreed to senate resolution 397, with best wishes i am signed sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to 36 u.s. code 2302 and the order of the house of january 6, 2009, the chair announces the speaker's appointment of the following members to the house -- of the house to the united states holocaust mehmet ali talat council. -- memorial council. the clerk: mr. waxman of california,
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ms. giffords of arizona, mr. klein of florida, mr. latourette of ohio, mr. cantor of virginia. the chair: the claire -- the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bills. the clerk: h.r. 4508, an act to provide for an additional temporary extension of programs under the small business act and the small business investment act of 1958 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for ms. waters of california for january 26 and january 27. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. without objection, the house stands adjourned until 12:30
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p.m. on tuesday next for morning hour >> we will take you live to baltimore to the gop legislative retreat. the president is there and will speak and will take questions, as well. >> is and gentlemen, the president of united states. [applause] >> thank you very much.
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thank you so much. thank you. thank you very much. thank you. thank you, john, for the gracious introduction. thank you for hosting a. me. thank you all for receiving me. it is wonderful to be here. i want to acknowledge mark strand, the president of the congressional institute and all the family members who areo"( he and have to put up with us who are in elective office each and every day. i know that is tough. [applause] i very much appreciative of not only the tone of your introduction, john, but your invitation you extended to me for you know what they say," keep your friends close but visit the republican caucus
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every few months." [laughter] i accepted your invitation to come here was because i wanted to speak with all of you and not just to all of you. i am looking for taking your questions and having a real conversation in a few moments. i hope that the conversation we begin here does not end here, that we can continue our dialogue in the days ahead. this important to me that we do so. it is important to you that we do so but most importantly, is important to the american people that we do so. i have said this before but i am a big believer not just in the value of a loyal opposition. having differences of opinion, having a real debate about matters of domestic policy and national security, that is not something that is only good for the country,. it is, only for the process of disagreement and debate that bad
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ideas get tossed out and good ideas get refund in a better. that kind of vigorous back and forth may be imperfect but that is a part of our democracy. that is what makes us the greatest nation in the world. yes, i want you to challenge my ideas and i guarantee you that after reading this, i may challenge the view of yours. i want you to stand up for your beliefs and knowing this caucus, i have no doubt you will. i want to have a constructive debate. the only thing i don't want, and here i am listening to the american people and i don't think they want it either, is for washington to continue being so washington-like. i know folks, when we are in town there, spend a lot of time reading the polls and looking at focus groups an interpreter which party has the upper end
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of november and in 2012 and so on. that is their obsession. i'm not a pundit. i'm just the president. take it for what it's worth. i don't believe that the american people want us to focus on our job security. they want us to focus on their job security. [applause] i don't think they want more gridlock. i don't think they want more partisanship. i don't think they want more obstruction. they did not send this to washington to fight each other in some sort of political steel cage match to see who comes out alive. that is not what they want. the sentence to washington to work together, to get things done, and to solve the problems they are grappling with every single day. i think your constituents would want to know that despite the
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fact that it does not get a lot of attention, you and i have actually worked together on a number of occasions. there have been times where we have acted in a bipartisan fashion and i want to thank you and your democratic colleagues for reaching across the aisle. there has been, for example, broad support for putting in the troops necessary in afghanistan to deny al qaeda safe haven, to break the taliban's momentum entering afghans supported forces. there has been broad support for disrupting, dismantling, and defeating al qaeda. i know we are all united in our admiration for our troops. [applause] that may be useful for the interval national audience to understand that whatever differences and divisions may exist in washington, the united states of america stands as one to defend our country. [applause] iit's that same spirit of
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bipartisanship that made it possible for me to sign a defense contractor and reform bill that was co-sponsored by senator mccain and members of congress here today. we stood together on behalf of our nation's veterans3 . together we passed the largest increase in the va budget in 10 years to provide better medical access for those who serve in uniform. some of you joined democrats in supporting a credit card bill of rights. and extending unemployment compensation to americans out of work. some of you join us in stopping tobacco companies from targeting kids, expanding opportunities for young people to serve our country, and helping responsible
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homeowners stay in their homes. so, we have a track record of working together. it is possible. but, as you mentioned, john, on some very big things, we have seen party-line votes that i am going to be honest, were disappointing. let's start with our efforts to jump-start the economy last winter when we were losing 700,000 jobs per month. our financial system teetered on the edge of collapse and the threat of the second great depression loomed large. i did not understand them and i still don't understand why we got opposition in this caucus for almost $300 billion in badly needed tax cuts for the american people or more cobra coverage to help americans who have lost jobs in this recession to keep the health insurance they desperately needed or opposition to putting americans to work
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laying broadbent, rebuilding roads and new construction projects. there was an interesting headline on cnn today -- americans disapprove of stimulus but like every policy in it. there was a poll that showed that if you broken down into its component parts, 80% approved of the tax cuts, they approved of the infrastructure, the assistance to the unemployed. that is what the recovery act was. let's face it, some of you have been at the ribbon cuttings for some of these important projects in your communities. i understand some of you had some philosophical differences on the concept of government spending but, as i recall, opposition was declared before we had a chance to actually meet and exchange ideas. i saw that as a missed opportunity.
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i am happy to report this morning that we saw another side we saw the economy is routing -- running in the right direction, the latest gdp numbers say that our economy is growing by 6%. that is the most since 2003. put that in perspective, this time last year, we did not see positive job growth. we saw the economy shrank by about 6%. you see a 12% reversal during the course of this year. this turnaround is the biggest in decades. it did not happen by accident. it happened as economists, conservative and liberal, reacted to the steps we took. by the way, you mentioned the website, john -- if you want to look at what is going on and recovery act, look at recovery. gov which was eric cantor is idea. here is the point -- these are serious times.
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what is required by all of us, democrats and republicans, is to do what is right for our country. even if it is not always what is best for our politics. i know it may be heresy to say this but there are things more important than good poll numbers. on this, no one can accuse me of not living by my principles. a middle class is back on its feet. an economy that lifts everybody up, and america that is sending in the world, that is more important than winning. an winning our future should not be shaped by was best for our politics. our politics should be shaped by what is best for our future. but, no matter what has happened in the past, the important thing for all of us is to move forward together. we have some issues right in front of us on which i believe we should agree as successful as we have been in spurring new economic growth, everybody
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understands that job growth has been lagging. some of that is predictable. every economist will say that jobs are lagging indicator but that is no consolation for the folks out there suffering right now. since 7 million americans have lost their jobs, we have to do everything we can to accelerate. today, in line with what i stated in the state of the union, i propose a new jobs tax credit for small business. this is how it would work -- employers would get a tax credit of up to $5,000 for every employee in they had in 200010. they would get a tax break for increases in wages as well if you raise wages for employees making under $100,000, we would refund part of your payroll tax for every dollar you increase those wages faster than inflation. that is a simple concept. it is easy to understand. it would cut taxes for more than 1 million small businesses.
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i hope you join me. let's get this done. i want to eliminate the capital gains tax for small business investment and take some of the bailout money the wall street banks have returned it used to help community banks start lending to small businesses again. join me. i am confident we can do this together for the american people and there is nothing in that proposal that runs contrary to the ideological predispositions of this caucus for the question is, what will keep us from getting this done? i proposed a modest fee on the nation's largest banks and financial institutions to fully recover the taxpayers' money that they provided to the financial sector when it was teetering on the brink of collapse. it is designed to discourage them from taking reckless risks in the future. if you listen to the american people, john, they will tell you that they want their money back. let's do this together.
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republicans and democrats. i propose that we close taxes and give companies greater incentive to create jobs right here at home. surely, that is something we can do together, republicans and democrats. we know that we've got a major fiscal challenge in reining in deficits that have been growing for a decade and threaten our future. that is why i have proposed a three-year freeze in discretionary spending other than what we need for national security. that is something we should do together. that is consistent with a lot of the talk both in democratic caucuses and republican caucus this. we cannot blame when it is time to actually do the job. at this point, we know that the budget surplus of the 1990's occurred in part because of the pay as you go walt which said that you should pay as you go and live within our means like
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families to every day. 24 of you voted for that and i appreciate it. we were able to pass it in the senate yesterday. the idea of a bipartisan fiscal commission to confront the deficit in the long term died in the senate the other day. i am going to establish such a commission by executive order and i hope that you participate fully and genuinely in that effort because if we are going to actually deal with our deficit and debt, everybody here knows that we will have to do it together, republican and democrat. no single party will make the tough choices involved on its own. it will require all of us doing what is right for the american people. as i said in the state of the union speech, this is not just deficit dollars in washington, there is a deficit in trust so i hope you'll per -- support my
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proposal to make all earmarks public before the come to a vote. let's require lobbyists to exercise their employers to publicly disclose all their contacts on behalf of their clients, whether they are context of my administration or contacts with congress. let's do the people's business in the bright light of day. together. republicans and democrats. i know how bitter and contentious issue of health insurance reform has become. i will eagerly look at the ideas and better solutions on the health care front. if anyone here truly believes our health insurance system is working well for people, i respect your right to say so but i just don't agree. neither would millions of americans with pre-existing conditions who can't get coverage today and find out that they lose their insurance just as they are getting seriously ill. that is exactly when you need insurance. for too many people, they are
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not getting it. i don't think the system is working when small businesses are gouged and 15,000 americans are losing coverage every single day, when premiums have doubled and out of pocket costs have exploded. to be fair, the status quo is working for the insurance industry but it is not working for the american people. it is not working for federal budget. it needs to change. this is a big problem. all of us are called on to solve it. that is why from the start i sought out and supported ideas from republicans. i even talked about an issue that has been a holy grail for many of you which is tort reform and said i would be willing to work together as part of a package to deal with it. i did not get a lot of nibbles. creating a high risk pool for uninsured folks for pre-existing
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conditions was not my idea. it was senator mccain and i embraced it and it got inc.. allowing insurance companies to sell coverage across state lines to bring down costs and create competition, that is an idea that some of view included in this better solution. that was an idea that was included in our package. i supported provided we do with hand in hand with broader reforms that protect benefits and protect patients and protect the american people. a number of you have suggested creating pools were self- employed and small businesses could buy insurance as. that is a good idea. i embraced it. some of you supported efforts to provide insurance to children and let kids remain covered on their parents' insurance until 25 or 26. i supported that. as part of our package. i supported a number of other ideas. creating a catastrophic
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insurance that was just for young people. when you say that i thought to be willing to accept republican ideas on health care, let's be clear, i have. bipartisanship, not for its own sake but to solve problems, that is what our constituents, the american people need from us right now. all of us than have a choice to make -- we have to choose whether we will be politicians first or partners for progress. whether we will put success at the polls ahead of lasting success we can achieve together for america. think about it for a while. we have to put up for a vote today. let me close by saying this -- i was not elected by democrats or republicans but by the american people. that is especially true because the fastest growing group of americans are independence. that should telescope something. -- that should tell us both
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something. i am willing to work with anyone who is willing to proceed in the spirit of goodwill. if we cannot break free from partisan gridlock, if we cannot move past the politics, if for assistance supplants -- if resistance supplants progress, i have to act for the greater good. that is the commitment i have made. that is what the american people sent me to washington to do. i am optimistic. many of you individuals -- the irony of political climate right now is that compare to other countries, the differences between the two major parties on most issues is not as big as it is represented. we have gotten caught up in the political game in a way that is not helping. it is dividing our country in
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ways that is preventing us from meeting the challenges of the 21st century. i am hopeful that the conversation we have today will help reverse that. thank you very much. thank you, john. [applause] i would like to open it up to questions. >> the president will take questions. first question? [unintelligible] >the house republicans said to
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most people in this room -- [unintelligible] #2, are pledged you mr. president -- our pledge to you mr. president [unintelligible] [inaudible] when the head of the salvation army's new i was going to see you today, his eyes lit up. i had a conversation and
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families are struggling in this economy. he had words for me that i will never forget. he was about my age and he said that it is not like it was when we were coming up. there are no jobs. last year, about the time you met with us, unemployment was 7.5% in this country. your administration and your party in congress told us that we would have to borrow more than $700 billion to pay for a bunch of these mill projects and boutique tax cuts all of which we were told had to be passed or unemployment would go to 8%. that is what your administration said. unemployment is 10%, as you well know. in baltimore is considerably
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higher. republicans offered a stimulus bill at the same time. it cost half as much as the democrats' proposal in congress and using your economic analyst models it would have created twice the jobs at half the cost. it essentially was an across- the-board tax relief. we know you have come to baltimore today and you have raised this tax credit which was less promoted by president jimmy carter. the first question i would post you very respectfully, mr. president, is would you be willing to consider embracing in the name of little david carter jr. and his dead, in the name of every struggling family in this country, the kind of across-the- board tax relief that republicans have advocated, that president kennedy advocated, that president reagan advocated,
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and that has always been the means of stimulating broad based economic growth? >> there was a lot back to that question. [laughter] first of all, let me say i already promised i would write back to that young man and his family and i appreciate passing this on. let's talk about the jobs environment in general. you're absolutely right that when i was sworn in, the hope was that unemployment would remain around 8%. that was based on the estimates made by both conservative and liberal economists because at that point, not all the data had trickled in. we have lost 650,000 jobs in
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december. i am assuming you are not focusing -- fall to my policies for that. we have lost, it turns out, 700,000 jobs in january, the month i was sworn in. i am assuming my administration was not accountable for that. we lost another 650,000 jobs the subsequent month, before any of my policies have gone into effect. i am assuming that was not as a consequence of our policies. that does not reflect the failure of the recovery act. the point being that what ended up happening, was that the job losses from this recession proved to be much more severe in the first quarter of last year going into the second quarter of last year than anybody anticipated.
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we can score political points on the basis of the fact that we underestimated how severe the job losses or going to be. those job losses took place before any stimulus, whether it was the ones you guys proposed for the ones we proposed, could have ever taken effect. that is just a fact and i don't think anybody would dispute that. you could not find an economist who would dispute that. now, at the same time as i mentioned, most economists, republican and democrat, liberal and conservative, would say that had it not been for the stimulus package that we passed, things would be much worse. they did not fill a 7 million
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hole in the number of people who were unemployed. they probably account for 2 million which means we still have 5 million folks in there that we still have to deal with. that is a lot of people. the package that we put together, it should have reflected and i believe reflected what most of you would say are common-sense things. this notion that this was a radical package is just not true. 1/3 of them were tax cuts.3 when you say they were boutique tax cuts, mike, 95% of working americans got tax cuts. small businesses got tax cuts. large businesses got help in terms of their depreciation. it was a pretty conventional list of tax cut. 1/3 of it was stabilizing state
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budget. there is not a single person in here who, had it not been for what was in the stimulus package, would not be going home to more teachers laid off, more firefighters laid off, more cops lay off. a big chunk of it was on unemployment insurance and cobra. it was making sure that people had some floor beneath them and, by the way, making sure there was enough money in their pockets that businesses had some customers. you take those two things out and that accounts for the majority of the stimulus package. there are people in this room who think this was a bad idea? a portion of it was dealing with the amt, the alternative minimum tax, not a proposal of mine. that is not a consequence of my policies that we have a tax
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system where we keep on putting off a potential tax hike that is embedded in the budget that we have to fish each year. the cost about $70 billion. the last portion of it was infrastructure which, as i said, many of you have appeared at ribbon cuttings for the same projects that you voted against. i say all this not to re- litigate the past but simply to state that the component parts of a recovery act are consistent with what many of you say are important things to do, rebuilding our infrastructure, tax cuts for families and businesses, and making sure that we were providing states and individuals would support when the roof was caving in. the notion that i would somehow recessed -- resist something that would cost at as much and
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produced was as many jobs, why would i resist that? i wouldn't. that is my point. i am not an ideologue. i am not. it does not make sense if somebody could tell me that you could do this cheaper and get increased results that i wouldn't say great. the problem is, i could not find credible economists who would back up the claims you just made. now, here is what i know going forward -- we were talking about the past and we can talk about this going forward. i have looked at every idea out there in terms of accelerated job growth to match the economic growth that has already taken place. the jobs credit i am discussing
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now is one that a lot of people think would be the most cost- effective way for encouraging people to pick up hiring. there may be other ideas that you guys have. i am happy to look at them. i am happy to embrace them. i suspect i will embrace them although some of them i have already embraced. but, the question i think we will have to ask ourselves is, as we move forward, are we going to be examining each of these issues based on what is good for the country, what the evidence tells us, or will we be trying to position ourselves so that come november, we are able to say that the other party, it is their fault. if we take the latter approach, we will probably not that much
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agreement. if we take the former, there will be progress. >> will you consider supporting across the board tax relief as president kennedy did text >> here is what i will do, mike. i will take a look at what you guys are proposing. the reason i say this, before you say ok -- i think it is important to know. what you may consider across the board tax cuts could be, for example, greater tax cuts for dollars. i may not agree to a tax cut for warren buffett. you may be calling for an across-the-board tax cut for the banking industry right now. i may not agree to that. i think we have to look at what
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specific proposals you are putting forward and, this is the last point i will make, if you are calling for across-the-board tax cuts and on the other and saying we will balance our budget, i will want to take a look of your arithmetic. i will see how that works. because the issue of deficit and debt is an area where there has been a tendency for some inconsistent statements, how's that? all right? >> thank you, mr. president. >> mr. president, first of all, beckham for agreeing to come to our invitation here. it is a pleasure and honor to have you with us today. >> is this your crew here? >> this is my family. [laughter] > i serve as a ranking member of
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the budget committee. the disk -- the domestic discretionary spending has been increased by 84%. you want to freeze spending at this elevated level beginning next year. this means that total spending in your budget would grow at 3/1 hundred of 1% otherwise. i submit that we should do more to start now. you said you want to take a scalpel to the budget and go through it line by line. we want to give you that scalpel. we want to create a constitutional version of the line item veto. [applause] the problem is, we cannot get a boat of the proposal. why not start treating spending now and would you support a line-item veto and getting a boat on it in the house? >> let me respond to the two
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specific questions. i want to push back on the underlying premise about increasing spending by 84%. i talked to peter orszag before i came here because i suspect i would be. hearing be arguments the fact of the matter is that most of the increases in this year's budget, this past year's budget, were not as a consequence of policy that we initiated but instead, were built as a consequence of the automatic stabilizers that kick in because of this enormous recession. the increase in the budget for this past year was actually predicted before i was even sworn into office and had initiated any policies. i don't think you will dispute that. whoever was in there would have
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seen those same increases because on the one hand, a huge drops in revenue but at the same time, people were hurting and needed help. a lot of these things happen automatically. the reason that i am not proposing the discretionary freeze go into effect this year -- we prepared a budget for 2010 that is not going forward. -- that is now going forward. i'm listening to the consensus among people who know the economy best. what they will say is that if you either increased taxes for significantly lowers -- or cybele lower spending when the economy remains somewhat fragile, that will have a de- stimulative effect and many folks will lose business, more
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folks potentially losing jobs. that would be a mistake when the economy has not fully taken off. that is why i proposed to do it for the next fiscal year. that is point number two. with respect to line-item veto -- i think there is not present out there that would not love to have it. i think this is an area where we could have a serious conversations. this is a bipartisan proposal by you and russ feingold. i don't like being held up with big bills that have stuff in them that are wasteful but i have to sign because it is a defense authorization bill and have to make sure our troops are getting the funding they need. i would love for congress itself to show discipline on both sides of the aisle. one thing you have to acknowledge, paul, because you
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study this stuff into it seriously, this is not unique to one party and you get pushed back when you start going after specific projects of any one of you in your district. wasteful spending is usually spent some outside of your district. have you noticed that? spending in your district tends to seem pretty sensible. i would love to see more strength within congress. i would like to work on the year march reform that i mentioned. i think sunshine is the best disinfectant and i would like to put those on line. i would like to have a series discretion on the line-item veto issue. >> i would like to walk you through that. the automatic stabilizing spending is mandatory spending the bills that congress has signed on discretionary spending, that has increased
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84%. >> we will have a longer debate on the budget numbers, all right? thank you, paul. >> thank you, mr. president, for joining us. as you said in the state of the union address on wednesday, jobs in the economy are number one and i think everyone in this room agrees with you on that. i represent the state of west virginia where we have a lot of coal and natural gas but miners and folks who are working and unemployed are concerned about some of your policies in these areas, cap and trade, an aggressive epa and the looming prospect of -- a prospect of higher taxes. in our minds, these are job- killing policies. i am asking if you would be willing to re-look at some of these policies with the high unemployment to show west
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virginians that you are listening. >> i listen all the time and including your governor who is somebody who i enjoy working with a lot before the campaign and now that i am president. i know west virginia struggles with unemployment. i know how important coal is to west virginia and a lot of the natural resources there. that is part of the reason why i have said that we need a comprehensive energy policy that sets us up for a long-term future. for example, nobody has been a bigger promoter of clean coal technology than i have . i was unable but to the advertisements about investing about ways to burn coal more cleanly. i have said i'm a promoter of nuclear energy.
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that is something that i think a last three decades has been subject to a lot of partisan wrangling and ideological wrangling. i don't pick it makes sense. that has to be part of our energy policy. i have said that i am supportive and i have said this two nights -- two nights ago at the state of the union that i am in favor an increase production. if you look at the ideas that his caucus as, again with respect to energy, i am for a lot of what you say you are for. the one thing i have also said, though, and here we have a serious disagreement and my hope is that we can work through this disagreement, there will be efforts on the senate side to do so on a bipartisan basis is that we have to plan for the future. the future is that clean energy, cleaner forms of energy, are going to be increasingly important because even if folks
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are still skeptical in some cases about climate change in our politics and in congress, the world is not skeptical about the. if we are going to go after some of these big markets, they will be looking to see if the united states is developing clean coal technology. is the united states developing our natural gas resources in the most effective way? is the united states the one that is going to lead in electric cars? if we're not leading, those other countries will be leading. i want to work with west virginia to figure out how we can see that future. but to do that, there will have to be some transition. we cannot operate coal industry in the united states as if we are still in the 1920's or the 1930's or the 1950's. we have to think what the
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industry will look like in the next 100 years. it will be different and that will mean that there will be transition and that is where i think a well thought through policy of incentivizing the new while recognizing there will be a transition process, and we are not just suddenly putting the old out of business right away, that has to be something that both republicans and democrats should be able to embrace. >> thank you, mr. president. it is truly an honor and i appreciate you being here. i am wait two -- i am one -- i am one of 22 house freshmen. we did not read this mess but we are here to clean it up. there are some things that have
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happened that i would appreciate your perspective on. i can look you in the eye and tell you that we have not been obstructionists. when used up before the american people multiple times and said you would broadcast a health care debate on c-span, you did not. i was disappointed. i think a lot of americans were. he said he would not allow lobbyists in the senior most position within your administration and yet you did. i applaud you when you said it and disappointed when you didn't. you said you would goal line by line for the health-care debate -- the health care bill and there were six of us, including dr. phil roe who said we would like to take you on that offer. we never got a letter or call. we were not involved in those discussions. when you set in the house of representatives that you were going to tackle earmarks, you didn't want to have any on your bills, i jumped up out of my seat and applauded you. it did not happen.
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more importantly, i want to talk about moving forward and if we could address -- >> that was a long list sell [laughter] let me respond. look, the truth of the matter is that if you look at the health care process just over the course of the year, overwhelmingly, the majority of it actually was on cspan because it was taking place in congressional hearings where you participated. how many committees were there that helped to shape this bill? countless hearings took place. i kicked it off, by the way, with a meeting with many of you, including your key leadership. it is true, there is no doubt about, once it got through the
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committee process and there were now a series of meetings taking place all over the capital trying to figure out how to get the thing together, that was a messy process. i take responsibility for not having structure it in a way where it was all taking place in one place that could be filmed. how to do that logistically would not have been as easy as it sounds because you are shuttling back and forth between the house, the senate, different offices, etc, different legislators. i think that is a legitimate criticism. on that one, i take responsibility. with respect to earmarks -- we did not have your marks and recovery act. we did not get a lot of credit for it but there were no your marks in that spirit -- earmarks in that. i was confronted with an omnibus
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package that had earmarked from republicans and democrats. many people in this chamber -- the question was was i going to have a big budget fight at a time and try to figure out whether the financial system was melting down and we have to make a whole bunch of emergency decisions about the economy. what i said was, let's keep them to a minimum but i could not exercise the mall. -- excise them all. the question i have for you is, what are you doing inside your caucus to make sure that i am not the only guy who is responsible for this stuff so that we are working together. because this will be a process. when we talk about your marks, all of us are willing to acknowledge that some of them are perfectly defensible good projects. the just have not gone through the regular appropriations
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process in the full light of day. one place to start is to make sure that they are at least transparent, that everybody knows what is there before we move forward. in terms of lobbyists, i can't stand here unequivocally and say that there has not been an administration who was tougher on making sure that lobbyists were not participating in the administration than any administration that has come before us. if there were lobbyists who were on board in commissions that were carryovers and their term had not completed, we did not keep them off. we simply said that moving toward any time a new slot opens, they will be replaced free we have actually been very consistent in making sure that we are eliminating the impact of lobbyists day in and day out on
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how this administration operates. there have been a handful of waivers where somebody who is highly skilled, maybe a doctor who ran tobacco-free kits, technically is a registered lobbyist and has more expertise than anybody in figuring out how kids do not get hooked on cigarettes. there have been a couple of instances like that but generally we have been very consistent on that front. ok? thank you. >> marcia blacvkburn, tennessee. >> thank you mr. president and thank you for acknowledging that we have ideas on health care. indeed, we do have ideas, plans, we have over 50 bills. we have lots of amendments that would bring health care ideas to the forefront. we have plans to lower cost, to change purchasing models,
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address medical liability, insurance and accountability, chronic and pre-existing conditions, and access to affordable care for those with those conditions. insurance portability, extended access but not doing it with creating more government, more bureaucracy, and more cost for the american tax payer. we look forward to sharing those ideas will. q. we want to work with you on health reform and making certain that we do it in an affordable cost effective way that is going to reduce bureaucracy, reduce government interference, and reduce costs to individual taxpayers. if those good ideas are not making it to you, maybe it is the house democrat leadership that is an impediment instead of a conduit. we are concerned also that there
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are lessons learned from public option health care plans that maybe are not being heeeded in my state of tennessee, we were the test in 1994 for this. our democratic government has been cautioned that maybe our experiences there would provide some lessons learned that to be heeded and would provide guidance for us to go forward. what we should be doing is tossing old ideas out. we should move forward in finding good idea. certainly, we would welcome that opportunity. my question to you is, when can we look forward to starting a new and sitting down with few to put all of these ideas on the table, to look at these lessons
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learned, to benefit from that experience and to produce a product that is going to reduce government interference, reduce cost, and be fair to the american taxpayer? [applause] >> actually, i have got many of your ideas. i have taken a look at them even before i was here. some of the ideas we have embraced. in our package. some of them are embraced with caveat is. let me give you an example. one proposal that has been focused on by the republicans is a way to reduce costs by allowing insurance companies to sell across state lines. we actually include that as part of our approach. but the caveat is, we have to do so with minimum standards
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because otherwise what happens is that you could have insurance companies circumvent a whole bunch of state regulations about basic benefits or what have you, making sure that a woman is able to get mammograms as part of preventive care, for example. part of what could happen is that insurance companies could go into states and cherry pick and get those who are healthiest and leave behind those who are least healthy which would raise everybody's premiums who were not healthy. it is not that many of these ideas are not workable but we have to refine them to make sure they do not end up worsening the situation for folks rather than making it better. what i said at
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